Sunday, September 18, 2011
My baby boy is no longer a baby. Just a boy.
I love him.
There is no one else like him.
In many things Cal has overcome like a trooper. And it's not that we didn't expect it deep down. When we were trying to get him to sleep in his crib, we let him cry it out...he screamed for 4 hours and 15 minutes. He's always been so easy going but the most stubborn person when it comes to things that are important to him.
Cal has overcome severe GERD as a baby (acid reflux basically), a seizure, some physical development challenges, and Apraxia of Speech, which basically means he couldn't speak. It amazes me how God has gotten him through.
And now we are at our newest challenge. Yesterday was my first post. I hadn't posted a lot because quite frankly I didn't know what to say. Life is hard sometimes and it makes putting simple words or emotions into play difficult or paralyzing.
Anyway, two weeks ago we went to a Developmental Pediatrician regarding Cal. His regular doc had suggested we do this back in May but I had put it off. I was hoping things would get better...the temper tantrums, the inability to get out of his routine, the insessant questions, the mind numbing OCD.
But they didn't.
So I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment. As it stood I made the appointment with the intention that Nick would be there, but having to go into work, it was just me and the boy. So we went.
The doctor was amazing. She let me be myself and didn't make me feel like I had to be a super mom or anything. The diagnosis?
It's too early to tell which one, but it's either ADD or Autism.
To tell the truth ADD I can handle. Well somewhat. I had been reading anything I could get my hands on regarding child development and problems or challenges. And I kept being drawn to books that in the end would conclude your child has ADD or Autism. In my mind I had already diagnosed him with ADD.
But the possiblity of Autism blew my mind. Secretly I've always feared he had autism. How he banged his head on ANYTHING he could for the first two years of life. How he can't figure inflection out in speaking. How he hates to make eye contact. But we've had him checked/examined/studied twice and both times we were told "definitely not Autism".
In the past two weeks since the visit I really haven't had much time to sit down and think of everything. I haven't had "the big cry" (as Nick calls it!) I inevitably have after any big diagnosis or appointment. But it is slowly sinking in that no matter which one of these disorders it turns out to be, this is not something he will outgrow. Nope, we are in this for the long haul.
And somehow I've got to make this work. I'm the Mom...it's my job.
The doctor was amazing in that she said that she wants us to think of it as ADD for right now. She had some orders for us regarding ourselves rather than Cal...things like take a break from him, you've got to, spend more time with Emma, don't yell, cut yourself some slack. I don't know why but having a doctor tell me I am doing a good job, having ANYBODY tell me I am doing a good job meant more to me than anything else she could have said.
So for now we are dealing with an ADD child. I put it out of my mind when he doesn't understand I am asking a question, or understand what makes people feel sad. ADD, ADD, ADD, ADD...
And I know ADD is so common and so often people are like "oh they have ADD? Ritalin!" but ADD is so much more complex than people know. I'm learning that his mind doesn't work with abstract thoughts and he might not even understand that I love him. Heart breaking for a mother to hear.
In the coming weeks and months I ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers. I know this isn't a life-ending tragedy we are dealing with and for some it may seem pretty boring but to be honest, it has collectively made it very difficult to even find our way out of the other side of a day. Every day is a struggle. Every day is a battlefield. Every day is not my own.
You mother's know what it is like. There are days when you just want to crawl back in bed, clothes still on, and throw the blanket over your head. But you don't because their your kids and you love them so you just keep going. Keep trodding on. Keep fighting the good fight. Believing that all of this will culminate in well behaved adults who love you one day.
Thank you in advance for your prayers. I've listed some specific requests for each of us dealing with this. And please, PLEASE if your child has ADD and you have some advice for me, I am dying here to know. Thanks.
Nick: Nick has a hard time keeping his emotions and expectations for Cal in check. Not that he's beating him or anything but the two of them basically fight like cats and dogs, and at the end of it Nick comes out yelling at me saying "well he won't do (blah, blah, blah)" which is basically something Cal can't do. Needless to say its stressful on our household, our family, and our marriage. Please pray for patience for Nick and for God to put in place the words he needs to say as the head of our household.
Cal: Our little Calvin. Our precious baby boy. Please pray for clarity of mind. Please pray that he can TELL us what he needs, wants, thinks, feels. Please pray for his understanding and forgiveness when we mess up and are not doing what he needs. Please pray for God's healing...the healing that erases disorders clean away that we are told are life long and life altering.
Emma: Our little Kazoo. Our bright, sweet angel. Please pray for her to have strength and patience with her brother. Please pray for her to have some understanding of all of this. The poor dear is usually the brunt of the physical stuff, so Cal pummelling her has become just a part of her day. Please pray for this to end. I desire so greatly that they be the best of friends. And for the most part they are. I pray she doesn't remember the times it gets ugly. Please pray that she doesn't feel second to her brother as we spend time trying to help him figure things out. She is so independent that it is hard sometimes to remember that she's only 5! And still needs to much from us.
me (Lindsay!): I don't even know where to begin. I guess please pray that some weight of this burden will be lifted. I pray/plead/beg God for me to just be a cool fun-loving mom and every day I find that part of me just kind of slipping away and not happening or working anymore. Please pray for patience for me. Pray for somehow there be a little bit of me time. Pray for my sanity!!!
Please pray for our family. For understanding. For peace in our household. For our marriage. Pray for love. Pray for Grace.